Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
~Mary Oliver

"I was a late bloomer. But anyone who blooms at all, ever, is very lucky." ~Sharon Olds

Poetry Gets Some Poetic Justice (Richard Morgan, NY Times, 8-28-13) Poetry, an art form often treated as whipping boy in the cultural landscape, is on an unexpected uptick in New York.

“Ideas are like shy animals. You may have to look the other way for them to come out.”~writer-poet-teacher Matthea Harvey, quoted by Jack Limpert

The Man Who Died for Poetry (Austin Allen, Big Think, 3-23-12). An interview with Christian Wiman about Osip Mandelstam, who in dying at age 47 in a Siberian work camp under the Stalin regime became one of twentieth-century poetry's most famous martyrs.

Like that Chrysler Super Bowl ad with Clint Eastwood? Thank a poet. (Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times 2-6-12--with video). One of the most powerful ads aired during the 2012 Super Bowl credits poet Matthew Dickman as one of its copywriters.

Poetry Speaks, where poets and poetry publishers and fans of poetry and poets can gather and interact.

“Lower your standards and keep writing.”
~ William Stafford

'Creativity arises out of the tension between spontaneity and limitations, the latter (like the river banks) forcing the spontaneity into the various forms which are essential to the work of art or poem.'
~Rollo May

“There’s no money in poetry, but there’s also no poetry in money."
~ Robert Graves

"Genius is childhood recovered at will."
~Charles Baudelaire

T.S. Eliot on the role of “place” in his work:
“ . . . putting it as modestly as I can, it wouldn't be what it is if I'd been born in England, and it wouldn't be what it is if I'd stayed in America.”
~from a Paris Review "Writers at Work" interview

"Every positive impulse is a prayer
~poet Diane Frank

"Mere literary talent is common; what is rare is endurance, the continuing desire to work hard at writing."
~ Donald Hall, former poet laureate

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.”
~William Butler Yeats

"A student brings something to discuss, saying, 'I don't know whether this is really good, or whether I should throw it in the wastebasket.' The assumption is that one or the other choice is the right move. No. Almost everything we say or think or do — or write — comes in that spacious human area bounded by something this side of the sublime and something above the unforgivable."
~William Stafford

“A poet can survive anything but a misprint."
~ Oscar Wilde

"I'd rather be a great bad poet than a good bad poet."
~ Ogden Nash

"The poet has gained the happy position wherein he can praise his own poetry in the press and explain it in the classroom, and the reader has been bullied into giving up the consumer's power to say, 'I don't like this, bring me something different.'... Poetry needs to be rescued from among our duties and restored to our pleasures."
~ Philip Larkin, quoted in Cynthia Crossen's review of Larkin's "Required Writing" (Readback column,

"Poets don't have biographies. Their work is their biography."
~Octavio Paz, "A Note to Himself"

"You don't have to suffer to be a poet. Adolescence is enough suffering for anyone."
~ John Ciardi

"I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman."
~ Virginia Woolf

"Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose-petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo."
~ Don Marquis

"Herman has taken to writing poetry. You need not tell anyone, for you know how such things get around."
~ Herman Melville's wife, Elizabeth, letter to her mother

It is difficult
To get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there.

~ William Carlos Williams, “Asphodel, that Greeny Flower”

"I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way!"
~ Carl Sandburg

Poetry provides the one permissible way of saying one thing and meaning another.
~ Robert Frost

Quick Links

Find Authors

Poetry and verse

Poets aspiring to be published: Be aware that there are many scam poetry contests out there, trying to get your money. Among links below are guides to finding the legitimate poetry contests. Above all: Sign nothing granting or selling all future rights on your poetry.
Arts and poetry organizations
Paris Review interviews with poets
Poetry awards and contests
(Legitimate contests vs. contest scams)
Links to other helpful or interesting poetry-related sites and articles
Poetry and literary publications online

Arts and poetry organizations

Academy of American Poets (
Authors Guild (this professional organization for published authors and freelance writers offers advice on contracts royalty statements, and protecting authors' rights and lobbies on issues related to copyright, taxation, and freedom of expression)
Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP, frequently asked questions page)
LitLine, its list of organizations devoted to keeping literature alive
Haiku Society of America (promoting Haiku in English)
The National Association for Poetry Therapy (NAPT)
National Federation of State Poetry Societies
PEN American Center
Poetry Foundation (articles, tools, blog, Poetry Magazine)
The Poetry Book Society (UK)
The Poetry Society (UK)
Poetry Society of America (PSA)
Poetry Society of Virginia
*** Poets & Writers (a very helpful site)
Speakeasy (Poets & Writers forum)
Twitter list of small literary presses and journals
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" Poetry is the shadow cast by our streetlight imaginations."~ Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Paris Review Interviews with Poets

W. H. Auden, The Art of Poetry No. 17 (interviewed by Michael Newman)
Elizabeth Bishop, The Art of Poetry No. 27 (interviewed by Elizabeth Spires)
Robert Bly, The Art of Poetry No. 79 (interviewed by Francis Quinn>
Billy Collins, The Art of Poetry No. 83 (interviewed by George Plimpton)
T. S. Eliot, The Art of Poetry No. 1 (interviewed by Donald Hall)
Robert Frost, The Art of Poetry No. 2 (interviewed by Richard Poirier)
Allen Ginsberg, The Art of Poetry No. 8 (interviewed by Thomas Clark)
Robert Graves, The Art of Poetry No. 11 (Interviewed by Peter Buckman and William Fifield)
Geoffrey Hill, The Art of Poetry No. 80 interviewed by Carl Phillips)
Ted Hughes, The Art of Poetry No. 71 (Interviewed by Drue Heinz)
Carolyn Kizer, The Art of Poetry No. 81 (Interviewed by Barbara Thompson Davis)
Stanley Kunitz, The Art of Poetry No. 29 (Interviewed by Chris Busa)
Robert Lowell, The Art of Poetry No. 3 (interviewed by Frederick Seidel)
Archibald MacLeish, The Art of Poetry No. 18 (interviewed by Benjamin DeMott)
Derek Mahon, The Art of Poetry No. 82 (interviewed by Eamonn Grennan)
Marianne Moore, The Art of Poetry No. 4 (interviewed by Donald Hall)
Pablo Neruda, The Art of Poetry No. 14 (interviewed by Rita Gilbert)
Octavio Paz, The Art of Poetry No. 42 (Interviewed by Alfred Mac Adam)
Kay Ryan, The Art of Poetry No. 94 (Interviewed by Sarah Fay)
Charles Simic, The Art of Poetry No. 90 (Interviewed by Mark Ford)
Derek Walcott, The Art of Poetry No. 37 (Interviewed by Edward Hirsch)
Charles Wright, The Art of Poetry No. 41 (interviewed by J. D. McClatchy)
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Other interviews with poets:
Anecdotes about T.S. Eliot (1888-1965), from Anecdotes About Authors
U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey (audio, Diane Rehm show, 1-23-13). U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey was born in Mississippi, 100 years to the day after Confederate Memorial Day was established. Her mother was black, her father is white. Their marriage was against the law in the state. Her poetry explores the interplay of race and memory in her life and in American history. The past she mines is often unsettling: growing up biracial in the deep south of the 1960s, the lives of forgotten African-American Civil War soldiers, her mother’s murder and the legacy of slavery. Tretheway is the first poet laureate to move to Washington, D.C., and work out of the Library of Congress since the position was established in 1986. She’s the first southern Poet Laureate since Robert Penn Warren. And she’s the first person to serve simultaneously as the poet laureate of a state –- Mississippi –- and the nation. In 2007, she received a Pulitzer Prize for her poetry collection, “Native Guard.” Last year, she published a follow-up titled, “Thrall.” She joins Diane to talk about the role of poetry in our everyday lives.
The beautiful poem she reads early in interview is W. H. Auden's "Musée des Beaux Arts."
“Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.” ~W.H. Auden, New Year Letter
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Awards, Grants, and Fellowships, plus contests and other sources of funding (Writers and Editors)

G&A: The Contest Blog (Prize Reporter, Grants and Awards, Poets & Writers). For more contests, see Awards, grants, & fellowships on Writers & Editors site

Sophie Kerr Prize (half of the income from her bequest to Washington College, valued at $61,000 in 2014, is awarded to the graduating senior demonstrating the best potential for literary achievement, for both creative and critical writing.

"We have been able to have fine poetry in England because the public do not read it, and consequently do not influence it." ~ Oscar Wilde

Entering to Win: On Poetry Contests (Robert Casper,, The Academy of American Poets)
Web Resources that Help You Identify Scams
Writing Contests: When Winners Are Losers (Moira Allen, on scams writers should be aware of)
13 Warning Signs of a Bad Poetry Contest (Winning Writers)
For some artists, success comes with a price. "Free contest 'winners' can buy books, mugs, plaques featuring their work" (Diana Marrero, Jacksonville Times-Union, 4-3-01)
7 Ways to Become the Victim of a Poetry Contest Scam (John Hewitt, PoeWar, 1-11-10)
Contests and Agencies to Avoid (Winning Writers)
Getting the Scoop on Poetry Contest Scams (Linda Alice Dewey, Absolute Write)
Preditors and Editors list of writing contests (on which they indicate which contests not to enter)
The Free Contest Scheme (Writer Beware, SFWA). In this version of the vanity anthology scheme, writers are targeted via a free contest. Another variation: Pay to Play Anthologies (often nonfiction), and other schemes to get writers to open their wallets.
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Poetry Society of America links to poetry contests for books, for chapbooks, and for single poems.

Montreal International Poetry Prize ($50,000 for one poem, in English). As reported by Poets&Writers, New Fifty-Thousand-Dollar Poetry Prize Has Global Ambitions (G&A, Prize Reporter, 4-4-11)

Wag's Review (awards of $1,000 to $100 for top prizes, plus publication, weighed against $20 entry fee per item of poetry, essay, or fiction).

Links to other helpful or interesting poetry-related sites and articles

Absolute Necessities (Jeff Gordinier, Poetry Foundation). The recession confession of a poetry shopaholic. A paperback isn’t that expensive, but trust me, all those impulse buys add up. See also Comments.
Advice on how to sell poetry (Neile Graham)
Articles from Poets & Writers
The Art of the Metaphor (Jane Hirshfield, TedEd video lesson)
• The Art of...the excellent series from Graywold Press, includes these books, among others:
---Doty, Mark. The Art of Description: World into Word
---Longenbach, James. The Art of the Poetic Line by James Longenbach
---Voigt, Ellen Bryant. The Art of Syntax: Rhythm of Thought, Rhythm of Song
---Young, Dean. The Art of Recklessness: Poetry as Assertive Force and Contradiction. "Evolve your poetics," writes Amy King.
Ask a Librarian (Saison Poetry House, U.K.)
David Biespiel's Poetry Wire: The Poets Journey (read chapters from his book free, online, on The Rumpus). "Every time you write a poem, you’re learning to become a poet once again. Your writing imitates not the banal sequence from life to death, but instead imitates a descent into and out of a new womb of clarity."
Margaret Atwood's tribute to poet and teacher Jay MacPherson (delivered at Victoria College 6-11-12)
The Book of my Enemy Has Been Remaindered. Clive James' classic poem about about literary schadenfreude, as posted by Dwight Garner on the NY Times Paper Cuts blog about books.
Bucking the establishment:How self-published writers can sidestep literary-world snubs (Jennifer Levin, Pasatiempo, 2-6-15) “There was always a distinction between academic poetry and street poetry. In street poetry, you take more chances, talking in the vernacular. There’s a raw intelligence out there that isn’t so formal," [said poet John Macker]. “I’m not part of the academy, and when I read The American Poetry Review, which I do rarely, the work by university-connected poets seems to be written for each other and for their students. There’s a little bit of a wall around that writing — in-jokes and a private dialogue going on between the academic writers that doesn’t exist out in America...."
Charles Wright Named America's Poet Laureate (Jennifer Schuessler, NY Times, 6-12-14). Wright turned to poetry because he couldn't tell a story. Once he retired, he started reading crime fiction. "'I’ve picked up every narrative I could get my hands on, to make up for 50 years of nonnarrative.' Not that he thinks he’s cracked the cosmic whodunit pondered in his verse. 'Poetry is the dark side of the moon,'he said. 'It’s up there, and you can see the front of it. But what it is isn’t what you’re looking at. It’s behind what you’re looking at.'"
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Poetry (Center for Social Media)
Colonies, Conferences, and Festivals (Poetry Society of America links)
Dear Writer: Reasons to Love and Fear Your Copyeditor (Sally Fisher Saller, the Subversive Copy Editor, in Prime Number)
Directory of Poetry Publishers (AWP)
50 literary magazines that may accept poetry submissions (have not tested the list)
Japanese Haiku Poetry Resources
Haiku Rules of the Road (an interesting slant on haiku by Neal Whitman, poetry editor for Pulse -- "voices from the heart of medicine"). See entries on Pulse's haiku slide show.
14 Twitter haikus to celebrate World Poetry Day (delightful)
• Hall, Donald. Unpacking the Boxes: A Memoir of a Life in Poetry (from youth through old age) and Life Work (reflections on the pleasures of work become more when the well-known poet and memoirist learns, at 63, that he has cancer).
Handbook for Literary Translators (free download from PEN America)
How Important Is an Author’s Biography?(Stefanie, So Many Books). This general essay refers to The Lives of Lorine Niedecker: How important is a poet's biography? (Hannah Brooks-Motl, Poetry Foundation, 7-16-13)
Links for poets (excellent resources, American Academy of Poets)
Making enemies, through poetry (Tim Steller, Arizona Daily Star, 10-4-13) Just who does this Jefferson Carter character think he is, anyway? (The kind of story that sells poetry.)
Me, myself and I: How easy is it to write confessional poetry? (Christina Patterson, The Independent, 1-23-13). Sharon Olds' account of her marital break-up made her a deserved TS Eliot winner. But that doesn't mean confessional poetry is easy to pull off. Confessional poetry, says critic Mack Rosenthal, is poetry that "goes beyond customary bounds of reticence or personal embarrassment."
Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet (Heather Grace Stewart, guest post on Paul Lima's blog, 6-19-12)
My Path to Print on Demand Poetry
OEDILF (The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form)
Paris Review "Writers at Work" interviews (from 1953 on)
Poetry and Literature (Library of Congress, links to many helpful resources)
Poetry Explication &UNC Writing Center)
Poetry Gets Some Poetic Justice (Richard Morgan, NY Times, 8-28-13) "In 40 years I've never seen it so vibrant here," said Alice Quinn, the Poetry Society's executive director and a former poetry editor at the New Yorker. "I half-expect a poetry cafe to pop up any day now in Hudson Heights."
Poetry journals, publishers, literary organizations, gatherings, contests, and writing programs (Poetry Society of America)
Poetry Magazine (articles from)/a>
Poetry Speaks, where poets and poetry publishers and fans of poetry and poets can gather and interact, listen to poetry, upload their poems read aloud)
Poets & Writers Magazine
Resources for teaching poetry (New York City Dept. of Education)
RhymeZone, online rhyming dictionary and thesaurus
Selby's List of Experimental Poetry/​Art Magazines
Small Press Distribution (SPD, connecting readers with writers of poetry, innovative fiction, and cultural writing)
Small Presses Are on the Rise: Is Poetry Leading the Way?(Dennis Loy Johnson, MobyLives, 3-24-02)
Submitting your work for publication (Charlie Hughes)
Talking Volumes (MPR's Kerri Miller's multimedia interviews with poets Josephine Dickinson and Galway Kinnell, on Star-Tribune site)
That's What It Meant: Symbolism in Poetry (, recommended by Dylan)
Top 100 Creative Writing Blogs, updated 2012. (includes poets who blog)
What Poetry Form Am I? (do answer the questions)
And what the heck: How to Write and Sell Greeting Cards, Bumper Stickers, T-Shirts and Other Fun Stuff by Molly Wigand, one of several books on a field poets might consider as a sideline!

Literary magazines online:
American Book Review (links to literary magazines, publishers, and organizations)
Duotrope (lists over 3500 fiction and poetry publications)
Litlines list of journals and online journals. It also lists small presses and literary organizations.
New Pages (news, information and guides to independent bookstores, independent publishers, literary magazines, alternative periodicals, independent record labels, alternative newsweeklies and more). Here are links to literary magazines.
Poets & Writers excellent database (500+ magazines that accept poems, stories, essays, and reviews). P&W also lists MFA creative writing programs and small presses.
Websites for African American poetry (MTSU)

Poetry Daily. "The urge to 'tie the poem to a chair with rope and torture a confession out of it' lessens when poetry arises freshly each day." (from the Introduction to Poetry by Billy Collins)

* Poetry Speaks, where poets and poetry publishers and fans of poetry and poets can gather and interact, listen to poetry, upload their poems read aloud)

The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor (great archive of poems to read and hear)
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Websites, organizations, and other resources

Blog roll, too
and communities of book lovers
Best reads and most "discussable"
Fact-finding, fact-checking, conversion tables, and news and info resources
Recommended reading
long-form journalism, e-singles, online aggregators
New, used, and rare books, and elsewhere
Blogs, social media, podcasts, ezines, survey tools and online games
How much to charge and so on (for creative entrepreneurs)
And finding freelance gigs
Blogs, video promotion, intelligent radio programs
See also Self-Publishing
Indie publishing, digital publishing, POD, how-to sources
Includes original text by Sarah Wernick
Multimedia, cartoons, maps, charts and so on
Plus contests, other sources of funds for creators
Copywriting, speechwriting, marketing, training, and writing for government
Literary and commercial (including genre)
Writing, reporting, multimedia, equipment, software
Translators, indexers, designers, photographers, artists, illustrators, animators, cartoonists, image professionals, composers
including essays and academic writing
Groups for writers who specialize in animals, children's books, food, gardens, family history, resumes, sports, travel, Webwriting, and wine (etc.)
Writers on offices, standing desks, rejection, procrastination, and other features of the writing life
Contracts, reversion of rights, Google Books settlement
Plus privacy, plagiarism, libel, media watchdogs, FOIA, protection for whistleblowers
And views on the author-editor relationship